Though the State government was expecting much focus on Bengaluru in the Union Budget, the only project that has got significant allocation is the big-ticket Bengaluru Suburban Railway Project (BSRP).
While the Budget allocates ₹450 crore for the project, a total capital outlay of ₹1,350 crore has been approved for 2023-24, of which ₹900 crore has been approved to be raised through Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources (IEBR).
The State government had sought the Union Budget support to establish a fin-tech city, on the model of GIFT city in Gujarat, in a town on the outskirts of Bengaluru, to be developed as a satellite town. However, the proposal did not find a mention in the Budget presented on Wednesday.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi assuring Bengalureans that his government would complete BSRP in 40 months last year, when he laid the foundation stone for the project, it has been high on the priority list of the State and the Union governments.
However, rail activists say the project that saw an inordinate delay in execution, received much needed push, but said the allocation could have been more.
While sanctioning the suburban rail project building, a network of 148 km in the city on four corridors was estimated to cost ₹15,767 crore. Equity of both the governments is 40% and the remaining would be raised in the form of external borrowing. After clearing several hurdles, the KRIDE has taken up Baiyappanahalli to Chikkabanavara (25 km) corridor for construction. The total length of this corridor is 25 km and there are 14 stations proposed.
Rail activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar said: “After months of delay, tender was finalised and construction works initiated. There is a need to expedite the project. Meanwhile, the KRIDE should float tender for all the pending corridors. The capital outlay is likely to give much needed fillip to the project. On other hand, in the forthcoming State Budget, the government should prioritise the project and allocate the required funds.” Earlier, a deadline of 2026 was set to complete all the corridors.
Sources in KRIDE said that a realistic requirement has been indicated in the Budget. “The KRIDE is in the process of raising funds required for the project through external agencies,” said an official.
Sources said that the tender has already been floated for taking up 38 km Heelalige to Rajankunte. “The construction works have already begun on Baiyappanahalli to Chikkabanavara. The works have begun at Hebbal and ground works are on other stretches. For the next corridor, tender will be finalised after receiving invites. Last date for receiving applications is April 27.”